How SD-WAN Enables the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has captured the imagination of businesses in almost every industry. It refers, of course, to the billions of network-connected devices that are capable of monitoring systems, capturing data and automating many tasks.

Internet of Things SD-WAN

Wearable medical devices can report vital signs to clinicians, and send alerts when the data falls outside certain thresholds. “Smart” buildings can monitor light levels, temperature and human activity, automatically adjusting systems for optimum comfort and energy efficiency. Retail store shelves can automatically send messages to the warehouse when products need to be replenished.

Estimates of the size of the IoT vary but they are all enormous. Cisco has predicted that the number of IoT devices will reach 500 billion by 2030. According to IDC, the worldwide market for IoT products and services will hit $1.2 trillion in 2022.

Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a key enabler of the IoT, providing the flexibility needed to support a wide range of network-connected devices. It simplifies management of the far-flung IoT network, with an intelligent, highly automated approach that continuously adapts to device requirements and application demands.


Reducing Complexity

IoT devices use diverse fixed, mobile, wired and wireless connections with variations in protocols, speeds and media types. Building automation systems and consumer electronics make up a significant percent of the IoT, so Wi-Fi, Zigbee and in-building power-line communication networks are predominant IoT connections. However, some applications are designed to connect via cellular, and a growing number of devices use low-power technologies such as Sigfox and LoRa.

SD-WAN simplifies management of the far-flung IoT network, with an intelligent, highly automated approach.

Organizations seeking to leverage the IoT will need to accommodate some or all of these connectivity options. IT teams will also need real-time visibility into the network in order to ensure performance and rapidly troubleshoot any problems. Not surprisingly, complexity is one of the major roadblocks to IoT initiatives.

SD-WAN is tailor-made for this use case. It allows organizations to combine multiple connectivity options into one hybrid network, with the redundancy to ensure the reliability of IoT connections. The centralized controller of SD-WAN masks the complexity of the hybrid WAN, making intelligent routing decisions based upon the availability of each connection. The entire network can be managed from one interface.


Maximizing Security

Security risks are another primary concern with IoT deployments. Many IoT devices have weak security, and a number of high-profile data breaches have been linked to compromised IoT endpoints. Hackers have also harnessed these devices to create botnets that launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

SD-WAN helps to enhance IoT security by enabling fine-grained segmentation of the WAN. WAN segmentation makes it possible to isolate IoT devices from the rest of the network to prevent hackers from gaining a backdoor to sensitive information. SD-WAN also virtualizes security services so they can be deployed as software throughout the extended network.

GDS offers an advanced SD-WAN solution that is ideally suited for IoT use cases. It supports a wide range of connections and automatically prioritizes latency-sensitive applications to optimize performance and bandwidth. We handle the implementation from end to end, and provide expert maintenance, management and support through our Network Operations Center.

The IoT is big and getting bigger, transforming entire industries and creating huge competitive advantages. Don’t get left behind. Let us show you how SD-WAN can help enable your IoT initiative through flexible, easy-to-manage connectivity and robust security.




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